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Author Topic: Alternate JSA  (Read 7444 times)

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Offline Roygbiv666

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Alternate JSA
« on: October 02, 2010, 08:32:14 PM »
Check out this famous cover of the first appearance of the Justice Society of America, the first super-team in comics.

http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/File:All-Star_Comics_3.jpg

Who would you put in each seat for different companies? They don't have to be power parallels, just who you like.

For example, if Standard/Better/Great/Nedor/whatever had done one, they might have had, left to right:

American Crusader
Black Terror
Captain Future
Doc Strante
Fighting Yank
Grim Reaper
Miss Masque
Pyroman

What about Centaur, etc.

I was thinking of getting a comic art commission, and this famous cover would be cool to replicate.

Digital Comic Museum

Alternate JSA
« on: October 02, 2010, 08:32:14 PM »

Offline John C

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2010, 08:34:07 AM »
I don't really have an opinion, but it might be interesting to keep in mind the nature of All-Star Comics, rather than simply assume that the heroes should be chosen from "favorites."  The All-Star principle was closer to "American Idol" (I assume, never having watched it) than any sort of "all-star" anything.

The characters were explictly the second stringers from anthology books, with the goal of finding the next break-out character.  As a character got "promoted," he left the book (and team).

On top of that, there seemed to be the idea that you couldn't promote multiple characters from the same anthology:  Nobody from Action or Detective were on the JSA roster, because Superman and Batman had their own books already.  Oh, and the lineup is half-and-half split between All-American Comics and National Periodical Publications.

Not that you're "not allowed" to approach it differently, obviously, but I often find adding these sorts of restrictions make the selection both easier and more interesting.  For Nedor, especially, you have a schism between imprints (or companies) and you have characters like the Black Terror who did graduate into their own titles.  Playing with those ideas could give rise to a much more interesting team than you would otherwise have considered.

Offline narfstar

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2010, 10:21:41 AM »
Yeah John All-Star was an ingenious marketing ploy. The JSA members had very little interaction with one another. The characters appeared on the cover so if you see some characters you like you get the book. Then like you said, one character may break out and not the exposure.

Offline Guardian7

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2010, 11:17:49 AM »
Basing this on what has been said.

For Centaur I would probably go with...

Air Man

Fire Man

Vapo-Man

Minimidget (with Ritty)

Plymo

Solarman

Zardi the Eternal Man

Electric Ray

Blue Lady or Super-Ann (yes I know the inclusion of these two makes nine when there are eight. But in the eventual placement of a female member I would likely choose one of them. Blue Lady is vastly more interesting so I would personally go with her.

That is my picks at least.

The JSA's lineup is probably one of my all time favorite lineups ever to be created. Just a great blend of characters (even better after they added Wonder Woman).

G7
Huge HUGE fan of Centaur stuff

Offline John C

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2010, 11:45:35 AM »
Yeah John All-Star was an ingenious marketing ploy. The JSA members had very little interaction with one another. The characters appeared on the cover so if you see some characters you like you get the book. Then like you said, one character may break out and not the exposure.

It also shows how tastes have changed.  Many other companies tried to build a team out of their heroes and never got past the first appearance.  The JSA, though, was almost designed to NOT be a team, and they became a mainstay of the industry.  Meanwhile, today, you can get by with almost any team book, but nobody will publish an anthology.

I do wonder how seriously the characters were chosen, though.  It almost seems like the pairs were intentionally supposed to give a "correct" answer to the next solo character.  For example, did anybody really think there was a chance of the Atom getting his own book when fellow All-American hero Green Lantern is available?  Did Hawkman have a chance with Flash around?  Could Dr. Fate and the Spectre possibly each support a title?

Offline JonTheScanner

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2010, 05:53:10 PM »
According to Shelly Moldoff, Hawkman had a good chance of getting his own title except the war-time paper shortage shelved that idea.  By the time the war was over, super-heroes were in a decline.

But you're right All Star was specifically designed to have two features from each of Adventure, More Fun, Flash and All-American.  It was a joint venture of sorts between the National and All-American branches of what became DC Comics.  It would have been a little hard to start the JSA before issue #3 when Atom replaced "Red, White & Blue."  Issue #1 wold have been even more problematic.  Somehow Gary Concord Ultra-man would have had to have been fit in, in place of GL.  Note that Flash, GL, and Hour Man were replaced by other features from the same anthologies. 

Star Spangled and Sensation were on the scene too late to have their characters included, though Wonder Woman broke the rule (probably because the AA side actually produced All Star).

Note that the Seven Soldeirs of Victory were set up the same way -- one feature from each of the National side anthologies.  Green Arrow from More Fun, Vigilante from Action, Star Spangled Kid from SSC, Shining Knight from Adventure, and the Crimson Avenger from Detective. 

Imagine if they hadn't considered Superman and Batman too popular to use (or whatever their reasoning was.  We might have had:
Action: Superman
Detective: Batman
Star Spangled: Guardian
More Fun: Green Arrow
Adventure: Sandman or Starman (who were being dropped from JSA)

Once Guardian and the Adventure features were canceled, they might have added Aquaman, Johnny Quick, or Robotman.  J'onn J'onzz or even Captain Comet might have been added later.

I could easily have seen this comic outlasting All Star with the popularity of Superman and Batman.  It could have run continuously into the Silver Age.  Maybe Johnny Quick would have been featured in Showcase #4 and received his own comic (hopefully edited by Schwartz with art by Infantino).  Maybe Doll Man and/or Plastic Man would have been added to the lineup when DC bought Quality.  Gil Kane cold have been used on Doll Man and we'd have had an Atom comic years early. 


Offline narfstar

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2010, 06:08:50 PM »
Some interesting speculations Jon. I think the marketing helped the other anthology issues. If someone liked the character in All-Star they could pick up the anthology appearance. Given the number of cover appearances Hawkman made on Flash comics it is easy to imagine he would have been given his own book. He had great visual appeal, which went down when he lost the beak.

Offline Roygbiv666

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2010, 06:18:59 PM »
I thought the idea was to feature characters who didn't have their own books (although, the Flash had two, didn't he?).


For Nedor, I think only the FIghting Yank and Black Terror had their own books, the rest were in anthologies.

Offline narfstar

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2010, 07:49:50 PM »
Flash Comics was in one sense not really The Flash. That is why Hawkman was often on the cover

Offline JonTheScanner

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2010, 09:41:33 PM »
I thought the idea was to feature characters who didn't have their own books (although, the Flash had two, didn't he?).

Both Flash and Green Lantern were removed from the JSA when they got their own books.  Flash's solo book was All-Flash, not Flash Comics which was an anthology with Flash, Hawkman, Johnny Thunder, The King, The Whip and others over the years.  Wonder Woman got her book so fast she was made an honorary member (the status of Superman, Batman, Flash and GL) before being a member.  Only when National and All-American split for a while did Flash and GL return to full membership (Spectre, Dr Fate, Sandman, and Starman all had to go).

Offline bchat

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2010, 06:48:15 AM »
From Harvey Comics, I would have liked to have seen Captain Freedom, Black Cat, Shock Gibson, The Human Meteor, War Nurse, Red Blazer (the one from All-New Comics), The Wasp and The Red Demon team-up on a regular basis.

From MLJ, for a team I'ld pick Mr Justice, The Fox, Inferno, Firefly, Scarlet Avenger, Captain Flag, The Web and Black Jack.

For Quality I'ld go with The Ray, The Clock, Quicksilver, The Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, Alias The Spider, G-2 and The Jester.

From Centaur I would pick The Shark, Sparkler, The Owl, The Eternal Man, TNT, The Voice, The Marksman and Black Panther.

Offline darkmark

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2010, 07:08:18 AM »
Well, believe it or not, the Black Cat, Captain Freedom, Shock Gibson, Pat Parker and Ted Parrish DID team up for one Black Cat story in SPEED COMICS.  After that, they were a team in the Stories Behind the Cover in SPEED and were known as America's Star Heroes.  Similarly, Stan Lee teamed the All-Winners heroes in text stories before they appeared as the All-Winners Squad.

Offline bchat

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2010, 07:21:47 AM »
Well, believe it or not, the Black Cat, Captain Freedom, Shock Gibson, Pat Parker and Ted Parrish DID team up for one Black Cat story in SPEED COMICS.  After that, they were a team in the Stories Behind the Cover in SPEED and were known as America's Star Heroes.  Similarly, Stan Lee teamed the All-Winners heroes in text stories before they appeared as the All-Winners Squad.

Yeah, I know that, but they (the Harvey characters) weren't a "team" in the same way that the JSA was.

Offline narfstar

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2010, 07:34:04 PM »
Atom        Crimebuster

Sandman      Daredevil
Doctor Midnight        Nightro is blind without glasses
Specter         Blackout
Flash    Silver Streak         
WW        Pat Patriot
Hawkman       Captain Battle with his jetpack
Doctor Fate     Spiritman
Johnny Thunder      Red Reeves Boy Magician 
Hourman          Mister Midnight   
Black Canary    The Wasp



Offline Roygbiv666

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Re: Alternate JSA
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2010, 09:06:35 PM »
...
Once Guardian and the Adventure features were canceled, they might have added Aquaman, Johnny Quick, or Robotman.  J'onn J'onzz or even Captain Comet might have been added later.

I could easily have seen this comic outlasting All Star with the popularity of Superman and Batman.  It could have run continuously into the Silver Age. 

Then we might be in the odd position of the Martian Manhunter and Captain Comet being "Earth-Two" characters instead of "Earth-One". Weird.